The non-tender deadline is upon us. By the end of the day several players will find themselves unwilling entrants to the free agent market. The Angels are a team that has many non-tender decisions to make with eight players eligible for arbitration. Mark Trumbo, David Freese and Ernesto Frieri will all obviously be tendered contracts. Fernando Salas should as well given what the Angels gave up to have him added to the Freese trade, even if Salas' performance history is mixed. That leaves four players for the Halos to really think on. Tommy Hanson, Jerome Williams, Kevin Jepsen and Chris Nelson could all very well be cut loose today. All four of them probably should be non-tendered, but before taking that big step, let's at least consider what alternatives the Angels have with each of the four cases.
Coming off a truly awful season and set to make roughly $4 million, Hanson should be an easy non-tender, but there is at least a little reason to think about other routes to take with him. For starters, $4 million isn't a huge amount of money. If the Halos weren't being so damned stubborn about the luxury tax, they could just cut Joe Blanton loose and use Hanson as their swingman. Blanton is a poor starter who profiles as a poor reliever. There is no upside on either side. Hanson is a poor starter, but at least there is a chance that he might be something a little bit better. We saw flashes last season of Hanson adjusting his mechanics and regaining velocity to make him much more effective. The Angels need better than that in their rotation, but as a #6 starter, you could do a lot worse... like, say, Joe Blanton.
As a reliever, Hanson had a very short audition late in the season and there were some real eye opening moments even if the stats weren't that great. Hanson was able to consistently throw in the mid-nineties and was able to be focus more on just throwing his fastball and curveball. His mechanics and shoulder woes might make him too inconsistent, but there certainly appears to be a good chance that Hanson could be at least an above average reliever if not more.